Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 51 Number 7, 2014
   Pages 1035 — 1046

Abstract — Depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and grade point average among student servicemembers and veterans

Craig J. Bryan, PsyD, ABPP;1* AnnaBelle O. Bryan, BSPH;1–2 Kent Hinkson Jr;3 Michael Bichrest;4 D. Aaron Ahern, PhD5

1National Center for Veterans Studies, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; 2Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City, UT; 3Department of Psychology, Utah Valley University, Provo, UT; 4Department of Education, Rivier University, Nashua, NH; 5Veterans Integration To Academic Leadership Program, Cincinnati Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH; and VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, Salt Lake City, UT

Abstract — The current study examined relationships among self-reported depression severity, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity, and grade point average (GPA) among student servicemembers and veterans. We asked 422 student servicemembers and veterans (72% male, 86% Caucasian, mean age = 36.29 yr) to complete an anonymous online survey that assessed self-reported GPA, depression severity, PTSD severity, and frequency of academic problems (late assignments, low grades, failed exams, and skipped classes). Female respondents reported a slightly higher GPA than males (3.56 vs 3.41, respectively, p = 0.01). Depression symptoms (beta weight = -0.174, p = 0.03), male sex (beta weight = 0.160, p = 0.01), and younger age (beta weight = 0.155, p = 0.01) were associated with lower GPA but not PTSD symptoms (beta weight = -0.040, p = 0.62), although the interaction of depression and PTSD symptoms showed a nonsignificant inverse relationship with GPA (beta weight = -0.378, p = 0.08). More severe depression was associated with turning in assignments late (beta weight = 0.171, p = 0.03), failed exams (beta weight = 0.188, p = 0.02), and skipped classes (beta weight = 0.254, p = 0.01). The relationship of depression with self-reported GPA was mediated by frequency of failed exams. Results suggest that student servicemembers and veterans with greater emotional distress also report worse academic performance.

Key words: academics, college, depression, GPA, grade point average, military, posttraumatic stress disorder, student, university, veteran.


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This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Bryan CJ, Bryan AO, Hinkson K Jr, Bichrest M, Ahern DA. Depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and grade point average among student servicemembers and veterans. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2014;51(7):1035–46.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2014.01.0012

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